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Do You Think That Vegetables Produce As Well in Containers?

By: Jessie Keith

“Do you believe veggie plants grow and produce as well in large containers as planting straight in the ground?” Question from Donna of Newberry, South Carolina

Answer: It depends. It’s all a matter of plant size, rooting needs, container size, and overall care.

Container Size and Care

Large or standard-sized vegetables do not grow as well in containers because they need more space to reach full potential. Containers also require more upkeep in terms of water and fertilization, so gardeners often lose steam and quit giving them the right care, resulting in poor output.

Soil is another factor. Garden loams have more mineral content and water-holding ability, allowing for better, deeper root growth and development. For this reason, it’s nice to fill large pots with a mix of topsoil and an organic amendment (Example: 1 part topsoil to 3 parts Black Gold Garden Compost Blend). This will increase water-holding ability and add weight to top-heavy pots.

Compact Vegetables

For real growing success with container vegetables, choose the right vegetables. Compact or small plants yield better harvests. For an excellent list of compact vegetables, click here for a recent article on the subject.  It covers everything from tiny tomatoes to baby beets and mini melons.

More Related Articles

For more tips on successful veggie container growing, I encourage you to click here to read our full article about succeeding with container vegetable gardening. I also answered two similar Ask a Garden Expert questions: “What are the Best Root Vegetables for Containers?” and “What are the Best Edibles for Sunny Patio Containers?”

Let me know if you are having any specific troubles with your container vegetable growing.

Happy gardening,

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist

About Jessie Keith


Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

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